6 Best Stand Up Fishing Kayaks: Reviews For Fly Fishing & More

A stand up fishing kayak is a sturdy and stable kayak that allows you to stand up while out on the water. Standing up to fish is ideal and a good stand up fishing kayak will allow you to do just that without having to worry about falling over or flipping into the water. These reviews of the best stand up fishing kayaks will help you select the best one to fit both your needs and your budget.

Preview

Product

Max Capacity

Dimensions

Kayak Weight

Check Price

Old Town Predator MX Angler Fishing Kayak

Old Town Predator MX

400 lbs.

L: 12 feet
W: 34 inches

82 lbs.

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 | Sit on Top...

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

400 lbs.

L: 12 feet - 3 inches
W: 35 inches

86 lbs.

Elkton Outdoors Fishing Paddle Board - IBIS...

Elkton Outdoors 12“ IBIS Pro

475 lbs.

L: 12 feet
W: 33 inches

72 lbs.

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler One-Person...

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

325 lbs.

L: 13 feet - 4 inches
W: 28 inches

56 lbs.

Perception Kayaks Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on...

Perception Pescador Pro 12

375 lbs.

L: 12 feet
W: 32.5 inches

57 lbs.

Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable Fishing...

Sea Eagle FishSUP 126

500 lbs.

L: 12 feet
W: 40 inches

45 lbs.


Benefits of Stand-up Fishing From a Kayak

Stand up fishing kayaks are so great because they allow you to reap the benefits of standing to fish while out on the open water. Some of these benefits include a better view of your surroundings, more control over your cast, better maneuverability, and -perhaps most importantly - it’s often better for your back to be standing up rather than hunched over in a sitting position for hours on end.


Buyer’s Guide to Choosing a Quality Stand Up Fishing Kayak

When choosing the best stand up kayak for fly fishing, you must consider all aspects of both the product and your needs/desires to make the right choice. The following are the most important things to look for:

Primary Usage

Ask yourself exactly what you’ll be using the kayak for, and where. Location plays a role as different places experience different weather and water conditions, which impacts the features you look for. Also, consider how often you’ll need it. Higher frequency means you should place a bigger emphasis on durability.

Kayak Type

Each type of stand up fishing kayak will include different features and best serve different purposes. Kayak types include both a sit-in, and sit on top stand up fishing kayak. You must also consider pedal vs paddle driven kayaks and whether you want a hard shell or inflatable exterior.

Durability, Design, and Comfort

The best stand up fishing kayak for you will be one with a design that meets your needs in a way that’s functional and comfortable. You should also consider how often you’ll go out with a partner. This dictates whether you want a single or tandem seat. The best seats are the ones that are adjustable, especially if you anticipate long hours in the kayak, you want to remain comfortable at all times.

Size and Weight Capacity

Stand up fishing kayaks come in all shapes and sizes, meaning you need to analyze your exact usage goals and what you want it to hold. Weight capacity is important to consider if your fishing trips usually include lots of supplies. If you’re someone who likes lots of space while you fish, you’ll want to consider the length and width and how much room it will allow you.

Stability and Safety Features

The best stand up fishing kayak is one that offers stability. The whole point of a stand up kayak is so you won’t fall while standing out on the water. Consulting best stand up kayak reviews will help you determine which are most stable based on other’s experiences. Then, think about which activities you’ll most commonly engage in, and consider which safety features are most important to you - a flat hull, easy exit, etc.

Storage, Portability, and Accessories

These features largely come down to what exactly you’ll be doing with your kayak, and how often. If you’re out on the water regularly, you want something with handles for easy transportation. You’ll also appreciate ample storage space so you don’t need to constantly drag all your equipment back and forth each time. If there are accessories you want that don’t come with the kayak, ensure compatible options are available separately.

Budget and Warranty

Perhaps the most important aspect is your budget. This should be determined before you even begin your search. Knowing how much you can spend will also help you prioritize features if you can’t afford one with all the bells and whistles. You want to buy something good quality, but you also want to ensure you’re getting maximum value for your money. A good warranty contributes greatly to this as it offers peace of mind.


6 Best Stand Up Fishing Kayaks Reviewed

1. Old Town Predator MX

Best Stand up Fishing Kayak

Max Capacity

400 lbs.

Length

12 feet

Width

34 inches

Kayak Weight

82 lbs.

Rod Holders

0

This kayak provides a solid platform for both fishing and other water sports. It provides stability and safety even in mixed-water conditions, making it perhaps the best stand up fishing kayak for many endeavors. Many praise it for being the most stable stand up fishing kayak they’ve ever used.

It comes almost entirely assembled, only leaving you to install the included paddle holders. It also does come with additional accessory mounting plates if you want to add anything else, such as rod holders or cup holders, but this isn’t necessary.

You can enjoy all-day comfort with the high/low seating system, and a slip-resistant Exo Ridge deck. It also offers many other features such as scupper holes, retainer bungees, a molded paddle rest, side mount paddle storage, and much more. When on the water, the kayak delivers top-notch handling while remaining stable and comfortable at all times, even with the seat in the higher position.

In addition to the long list of practical features, the kayak can hold a maximum of 400 pounds, giving you lots of room for equipment, storage, and other necessary items. For better stability, this kayak includes a track foot brace system, giving you even more leverage and control over the kayak.

Pros
  • Impressive load capacity
  • Additional leverage control
  • Adjustable seat
Cons
  • Lack of rod holders  
  • Assistance needed to load

2. Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

Best Stand up Kayak for Fly Fishing

Max Capacity

400 lbs.

Length

12 feet - 3 inches

Width

35 inches

Kayak Weight

86 lbs.

Rod Holders

0

This is an advanced tactical angling kayak (or ATAK) with an award-winning design compact enough for easy management. It’s known for its incredible stability and open, customizable platform. The SlideTrax located in the front, middle, and rear allow you to easily add and remove accessories to customize your experience. These features are what put it high in the running for the best stand up kayak for fly fishing  - customers rave about it’s excellent stability.

The kayak features a patented suspension style seat, allowing for both impeccable performance and long-lasting comfort. You can make it high, low, or even recline it back. It’s designed for long, relaxing, enjoyable trips out on the water without worrying about discomfort or back pain.

Once in the water, its design makes for easy paddling and easy maneuvering, even in the wind. It’s perfect for fishing sessions in everything from small ponds and lakes but still safe and comfortable enough to take out in larger bodies of water.

Some possible added accessories include a fisher jacket, a trailerable cover, and their tournament-winning foam core blade offering powerful, efficient flutter-free strokes. The company also offers a “kayak krate” which adds extra functionality to the tank well storage.

Pros
  • Open platform
  • Compatible with the Helix motor drive
  • It has won many awards
  • Includes a wind shielding deck
Cons
  • Rudder system sold separately

3. Elkton Outdoors 12“ IBIS Pro

Best Stand up Fishing Paddleboard

Max Capacity

475 lbs.

Length

12 feet

Width

33 inches

Kayak Weight

72 lbs.

Rod Holders

2

Made with a solid PU foam core and a hard exterior shell, this kayak is as durable as they come. It’s built to hit against rocks, branches, and whatever else you come across without causing any damage or knocking you off your feet.

It’s also exceptionally versatile. It’s perfect for those who want to go from recreational fun to a more serious fishing session without spending too much time. Switching from its traditional paddle board to a sit on top stand up fishing kayak in just a few minutes, it’s great for a family trip. The high load capacity is also an important factor as it means you can take more with you.

In addition to being durable and versatile, they also offer a guarantee that it will never sink. This gives great peace of mind, especially when you're in harsher waters - it’s a safe, stable option, making it perhaps the best stand up fishing paddleboard on the market.

Additional features include five aluminum track mounts, four carrying handles for fast and easy transportation, three sets of four D-rings, two universal hard mounting points, and two bungee saddle parks. These all make it easy to customize the kayak in a way that meets the needs of your fishing experience.

Pros
  • Paddleboard/stand up kayak in one
  • It’s extremely durable
  • High weight capacity
  • One year warranty  
Cons
  • Seat sold separately

4. Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

Best Stand up Fishing Kayak Under $1000

Max Capacity

325 lbs.

Length

13 feet - 4 inches

Width

28 inches

Kayak Weight

56 lbs.

Rod Holders

2

With features designed for both comfort and convenience, the Ocean Kayak Prowler is among the best options for long, extended fishing trips, and perhaps the best stand up fishing kayak under $1000. It features a durable and comfortable four-way-adjustable Comfort Plus seat to support you even if you’re out all day. It’s adjustable from all sides, meaning anyone can find the perfect level of comfort, and you can adjust as you go.

It also includes ample storage space, with a large and easy to open Click Seal front hatch which gives you access to the huge bow-to-stern internal storage. This is perfect for safely storing multiple rods below deck, for example, while maintaining easy access.

Customers love its versatility and durability. It stands up well to bumps and scratches from rocks and other things, and it’s proven useful and practical all-year round.

You’ll also have an oversized tank well perfect for storing and easily accessing your coolers, tackle boxes, bait wells, and whatever else you might need. The paddle and rod holders mean you can easily bring both and switch between them as necessary, with no fuss. It’s truly an angler-friendly kayak with all the features one could need while out on the water - for any length of time.

Pros
  • Lifetime warranty on the hull
  • Comfortable for long sessions
  • Plenty of storage
Cons
  • Paddles are not included

5. Perception Pescador Pro 12

Best For Beginners

Max Capacity

375 lbs.

Length

12 feet

Width

32.5 inches

Kayak Weight

57 lbs.

Rod Holders

2

This sit on top stand up fishing kayak is among the best for beginners as it offers all the basic features to meet your casual fishing needs. The lawn chair style seat is mesh with two possible levels. This means you can adjust as necessary throughout the day without worrying about any pain or discomfort.

The whole thing is one piece meaning it’s entirely leak proof and includes extra buoyancy for maximum safety. Especially if you’re new to fishing with a stand up kayak, staying as safe as possible is imperative. Beginners may also have fewer handling skills which puts the kayak at a higher risk of damage. Thankfully, this kayak is made to be extra durable, able to withstand both impact and abrasion.

You also have plenty of storage both at the front and rear to keep all your gear safe, dry, and easily accessible. The integrated accessory rails located on each gunwale are great for rod holders, fish finders, or any other accessory you want to bring along. The mesh seat doubles as a camp chair and is removable, giving you even more space for storage if necessary.

With the focus on comfort, storage, and safety, it’s the best stand up fly fishing kayak for those just starting out.

Pros
  • Extremely safe
  • Removable, adjustable seat
  • Adjustable foot rests  
Cons
  • Not great for harsh waters

6. Sea Eagle FishSUP 126

Best Inflatable Fishing SUP

Max Capacity

500 lbs.

Length

12 feet

Width

40 inches

Kayak Weight

45 lbs.

Rod Holders

0

There are many things that make this one of the best inflatable fishing SUPs on the market. It’s designed for fishermen who are always on the go. Being inflatable makes it extremely portable, a convenience customers appreciate. It’s lighter than most paddleboards and when deflated it’s very compact.

This makes it perfect for long trips that require lots of packing – this paddleboard will hardly take up space, but will still do the job once you arrive.

In addition to being easy to transport it’s also incredibly versatile and easy to use. You can set it up in less than ten minutes, and it’s good for many purposes. You can sit, stand, and fish to your heart’s content. For those that want to move a little faster, you can attach a motor.

The non-slip, protective foam deck pads offer you great stability when sitting or standing, and the 360 degree swivel seat means you can adjust yourself as necessary for maximum comfort. With this paddleboard you also get a backpack, SUP paddle, kayak paddle, a storage box, the seat, and a SUP pump. 

With its versatility and the included accessories, this paddleboard/kayak combo will have you up and running with everything you need in no time.

Pros
  • Inflatable
  • Lightweight
  • Includes many accessories
Cons
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty use

Types of Stand Up Fishing Kayaks

Sit on Top Vs. Sit Inside

A sit inside kayak has you closer to the water offering better protection from the elements, making it a more comfortable choice in cold or harsh weather. These yaks however, are not for standing in as they require seating at all times. A sit on top kayak on the other hand, is much easier to get in and out of, and stand in. They’re also sealed and won’t fill with water nearly as easily as a sit inside kayak. A sit on top kayak is typically the best option for those who want to go out on long fishing trips.

Pedal Vs. Paddle Drive

While there is a great convenience in having a pedal on your kayak, it often comes at a much greater price! Paddle driven kayaks are much more common because they are much more affordable. That being said, having a pedal does eliminate the need to juggle your paddle and your rod. Having a pedal does mean you’ll need extra underwater clearance, however, which means less storage space. If you have the money for a pedal kayak, you’ll just need to ask yourself if you can go without the extra storage.

Paddle Board (SUP) Vs. Kayak Fishing

A stand up paddleboard is just that - a paddleboard where you must stand up to fish with. While many kayaks offer you the ability to also stand up, sitting is still an option. Standing up to fish has many advantages, of course, but it can get tiring after a while. If you think you’ll be out on the water for a very long time, being able to sit is probably a good idea.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are stand up fishing kayaks safe?

In short, yes, most of them are safe, although different kayaks may include different features that add to its safety and stability.

How can I avoid capsizing in a fishing kayak while standing up?

You can avoid capsizing by ensuring everything in the kayak is distributed evenly for maximum balance, but also pay attention to the weather as harsh conditions make you more vulnerable to flipping.

Do I need to add an outrigger or stabilizer to my standing fishing kayak?

Stabilizers and outriggers are good to add when you want extra stability, if you’re new to stand up fishing or perhaps very tall and need a little extra help, though they’re not necessary and some will slow you down.

Is it possible to add a motor to my stand up fishing kayak?

Yes, some kayaks and paddleboards have the ability to add and remove a motor for when you want to go faster.

How do I paddle a kayak standing up?

While it will require some practice, it’s not terribly different from paddling while sitting, you just need to ensure you keep your balance and do it only on calm waters. Some tips include: keep your feet parallel and shoulder width apart, dip the blade fully into the water, and make sure you keep one hand on the shaft and one on the handle of the paddle.

Can I stand up on a tandem fishing kayak?

While not common, it’s not impossible, though doing so will be very difficult. If this is something you’re interested in, your best bet is to find a kayak that is specifically designed for having two people and standing up at the same time.

Are sit in kayaks good for stand up fishing?

No, trying to stand and fish in a sit-in kayak is not a good idea. They are much narrower and aren’t built for stability the way a stand-up kayak is.

How do I take care of a kayak?

Kayaks should always be stored inside when not in use to protect them from the elements, and stored off the ground if possible with hatches kept open. When carrying a kayak, it’s best if two people share the job. If you must do it alone, carry it securely on your shoulder with your other hand on it for extra support and balance. When transporting it with a vehicle, always ensure it’s tied down as securely as possible. 


Conclusion

It’s important that you do as much research as you can before buying your kayak as there are many factors that go into the decision. Different features work for different people, though the Elkton Outdoors IBIS Pro is a good choice for many as it’s as durable as it is versatile. It’s made to stand against rougher conditions and you can switch back and forth from paddleboard to kayak.